15 March 2018

East Africa: Financing of Renewable Energy Projects Set for Discussion

Arusha — Upscaling financing in renewable energy projects and technologies will be on spotlight during the high level talks in Kigali next week.

The forum will also discuss strategies on the harmonization of the renewable energy and efficient energy policies in the East African Community (EAC) bloc.

The region has targeted to have 65 per cent of electricity production contributed from the renewable energy sources in the coming few years. The three-day forum, slated for March 19th to 21st, will bring together policy makers, experts, civil society and representatives of the private sector and development partners. "It is further hoped it will bring forge effective partnerships in ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all", EAC said in a statement yesterday.

The recently-established EA Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREE) will host the event in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) and the EAC secretariat. Others involved in the organization include the Austrian Development Agency (Ada), a platform called Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and the Rwanda ministry for Infrastructure.

"As a service and productive sector, energy plays a catalytic role in stimulating investments and higher levels of productivity", the statement added.

EAC recently unveiled a five year action plan for Regional Cross Border Electricity Policy hinged on scaling up access to modern energy services Also developed is a framework for renewable energy development.

The region has great potentials in hydropower, geothermal, biomass, solar, wind and wave energy sources. For the small hydropower plants alone, the region has a potential to generate up to 4,097 megawatts of electricity from 750 water falls, according to statistics from EAC.

EACREEE, which is hosted at the Makerere University in Uganda, was established as a regional think tank for capacity development as well as investment and business promotion of renewable and efficient energies.

To complement the efforts, last year the EAC has adopted its Energy Security Policy Framework which seeks to ensure the security of the region's biomass, electricity, and oil and gas supplies, becoming the first bloc to do so in Africa.

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